An Effective Atlassian Rollout Strategy | Blog | Insight Venture Partners
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An Effective Atlassian Rollout Strategy

by Drake Murray, Lorenzo Phillips

What is the Atlassian Stack?

With products like JIRA to address bug tracking and Confluence to allow simple collaboration between business and technical resources, Atlassian made its mark as an inexpensive, yet powerful and flexible solution.

Over the years, Atlassian made their existing tools better and created new ones to fill the gaps they had in the marketplace. Today, Atlassian offers 14 products for each critical discipline within an organization ensuring that you can count on a single platform for almost all of your business needs.

Atlassian Stack is a collection of products offered by Atlassian that aids with reducing the costs of using many of their tool offerings. Atlassian Stack also connects all of your teams so there’s a consistent look and feel of the tools that creates a synergy throughout the organization.

A Typical Atlassian Rollout Strategy

With so many products to choose from, clients can get lost in what tools they should purchase first and for which needs. When working with the Atlassian Stack, you have the option to bring in a complete set of tools or to implement them individually in a phased approach. The following is a typical breakdown of how Atlassian tools are introduced if they are not brought in all at once.

rollout strategy

The next table lists out some of the most popular add-ons and plugins for JIRA and Confluence. These items are typically installed shortly after the tools have been stabilized in the client’s Atlassian environment and tend to add additional power and flexibility beyond what the tools offer natively.

marketplace

This is list is just a small sample of add-ons and plugins that are available. Feel free to review the Atlassian Marketplace for additional add-ons and plugins for JIRA and Confluence as well as the other tools in the Atlassian Stack.

NOTE: The add-ons and plugins are an additional costs so care should be taken to not only evaluate them but to also weigh the benefits of adding them against their costs.

Key Things To Remember

As we approach the end of this article, there are some key things one should remember when deciding when to implement additional Atlassian products or adding add-ons and plugin.

Atlassian
  • Only consider bringing in the complete Atlassian Stack if you have a team of resources to handle the workload associated with their implementation.
    • If you do not have an internal team, you can always use consulting firms that specialize in the implementation of the Atlassian products. Be sure they have expertise in all Atlassian products and not just JIRA and Confluence as the stack contains other tools that will need to be implemented properly.
  • If you require a more phased approach to implementing the Atlassian products, be sure to create an appropriate strategy and not do this in an ad-hoc manner. The better your strategy, the more likely you are to succeed with implementing the Atlassian platform in your organization.
  • Understand the Atlassian license structure to ensure you get the licenses you need.
  • Always have a User and Group strategy otherwise this area of the tools will get out of control very quickly.
    • Your strategy should take into account your current strategy—such as an existing Single Sign-on (SSO) implementation or a planned one. Atlassian has its own SSO solution but you are not limited to their solution.
    • It is possible to connect Atlassian directly to your Active Directory solution and drive users and groups from there so be sure to include this approach in your brainstorming sessions.
    • If you do not have an SSO solution, you will still need a strategy to ensure proper control and auditing of users and groups.
Add-ons and Plugins
  • Add-on and plugin licenses must match the number of licenses in the Atlassian product for which they are being installed. For example, if you are installing a plugin into JIRA and JIRA contains 100 user licenses, then the plugin tier must match that at 100 users. You cannot install a lower license tier for the plugin. The same is true for add-ons.
  • If you are self-hosting the Atlassian environment and it has a connection to the Internet when you access the marketplace it will automatically identify the correct license tier needed and show you the price to acquire the add-on or plugin.
  • Be sure to “always” check all of your add-ons and plugins prior to upgrading the Atlassian tool where they are installed. If you upgrade the Atlassian tool without ensuring that all existing add-ons and plugins will work in the new version, then you risk making critical add-ons and plugins unavailable until the vendors provide a version that is compatible. In some cases, this could be days or it could be weeks or months. Do not upgrade unless you know all valid add-ons and plugins will be compatible.

To learn more best practices, download Insight's "Atlassian Playbook" by entering your information below.  

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